‘nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum cum superiorum aetate contexitur? ’
Cicero, Orations XXXIV
"Not knowing what happened before you were born is to be stuck in childhood forever. What does a person's life amount to without the historical consciousness that weaves one's life into the life of earlier generations?"
Classical subjects are available to all pupils at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in various forms, and it is the aim of all members of the Classics Department to encourage and stimulate pupils’ curiosity about ancient Greek and Roman language, culture and society. This is achieved both through the teaching of Latin and Greek languages and the study of Classical Civilisation.
The mental challenge of accessing the Greek and Latin languages and discovering the range and depth of meaning, skill and emotion in the authors’ texts is what attracts many to studying Classics. ‘To read the Latin and Greek authors in their original is a sublime luxury’ wrote Thomas Jefferson, but we would add that it provides a fundamental insight into the roots of our own language and culture.
The teaching of Latin is available to pupils in Sets 1 and 2 from the First to the Second Form and is an option for GCSE and A level. Pupils in the Third Form may choose to study Greek as a GCSE option if they have studied Latin before. Classical Civilisation is introduced as a new subject for GCSE and is also available as an option at A level.
We are always seeking new ways to provide pupils with the opportunity to learn more about the language, culture, literature and the arts of the Classical World; the importance of museum visits, visiting speakers, exhibitions and seminar groups cannot be underestimated and are readily available in the U.K. Pupils at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School are regularly offered opportunities to enrol on Classics trips to Classical ruins in the UK and Europe, to attend drama productions or talks from visiting speakers and to travel to University Classics departments for taster or lecture days.
The Classics Department achieves excellent examination results and we regularly see pupils depart the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School to pursue classical courses at universities including Oxford and Cambridge.
Miss L Davies-Evitt (Head of Classics)
Miss P Foy (Teacher of Classics and Head of Third Form)
Mr P Stubbings (Headmaster)